Murdoch Likely to End WSJ Paywall

The Associated Press reports on a speech given by Rupert Murdoch to Australian shareholders in Adelaide:

Murdoch said he expects to scrap subscription fees for The Wall Street Journal’s Web site, wsj.com, in an attempt to significantly boost subscriber numbers. The Web site, one of the few news sites globally to successfully introduce a subscription model, currently has around 1 million subscribers, which generates around $50 million in user fees.

"We are studying it and we expect to make that free, and instead of having one million (subscribers), having at least 10 million-15 million in every corner of the earth," Murdoch said.

He believes that a free model, with its increased readership, will attract "large numbers" of big-spending advertisers.

The move has looked likely since Mr. Murdoch gained control of Dow Jones, but these comments appear to be his strongest declaration yet that it’ll happen.